If one could take the sound of Fall, Melt-Banana, Boredoms and Wire and run their songs through a meat grinder, the result would closely resemble the music of Scissor Girls. With their bizarre stage attire, fractured songs and plenty of attitude, they were able to attract enough public attention to record 2 albums and a number of singles/compilations.
While growing up in the 80s, future members of SG – Azita Youssefi (a.k.a. AZ) and Heather Melowic (a.k.a. Heather M) discussed the idea of starting a band together and eventually Scissor Girls was started in 1991 after Youseffi invited Sue Anne Zollinger (a.k.a. SA) to join the band.
Another key person in the history of the band was Kelly Kuvo, a friend of the group who eventually replaced Zollinger. Early on, she worked on the band’s posters and flyers, which helped Scissor Girls to land their first gig in 1992.
Their debut was 1992 single “Phy, Diablo!” that came out on Monkeytech label. Around the same time the SG made an appearance on a compilation called “Time Expired”, along with Slant 6, Drinking Woman and Rastro!
In 1994, the band was supposed to record a 10″ single for Quinnah Records, but when the master tapes of the album were sent to the recording plant, the building burnt down. The release of the album was delayed, but eventually was released in 1994 – not as an intended 10″ record, but as a 12″ and included additional tracks recorded by the band in the early ’94. The Making Of Americans label re-released “From The Scissor Girls To The Imaginary Layer On Skeletons” on a CD.
Skam Magazine described “The Imaginary Layer” as “more artful excitement from Chicago’s punk-jazz noise kettle.”, while Drag King website compared their sound on the record to that of the early Fall.
By the late 94 Zollinger left the band and initially the band wanted to replace her with Kelly Kuvo, but she turned out to be busy with her own band called Dot Dot Dot. SG hired a guitarist James Yoo instead, but after they started a tour in ’94, they realized that Yoo’s style didn’t fit the band, contacted Kuvo once again and she agreed to join the band.
Throughout the next few years the band appeared on a number of compilations and even made an appearance on a TV show called Ben Loves Chicago.
In 1996 the band recorded “So You Can Start To See What S-T-A-T-I-C-L-A-N-D”, which came out on Providence, RI based Load Records. Same year, they also signed a contract with Chicago label Atavistic, which released their next full-length – “We People Space With Phantoms”.
In their review of the album, All Musc Guide noted that “rather than a no-wave-style attack on music’s conventions, the Scissor Girls manage to bring the original excitement of punk back into a musical context where pop-punk has become a fairly banal mainstream sound.”
Scissor Girls went into the studio to record a follow-up to “Phantoms”, but the sessions were never finished and frustrated by the lack of money from touring/recording, the band broke up. Atavastic, however, still released one more record by SG – 1997 “Here Is The Is Not” that compiled the band’s singles.
After the breakup of Scissor Girls all members continued playing in other bands – Youseffi formed Bride Of No No, Mellowic played with Lake Of Dracula and Kuvo formed Sweet Thunder.
Sue Anne Zollinger
Azita Youssefi (Bride Of No No)
Heather Melowic (Lake Of Dracula)
New Tactical Outline, Sec. 2 7″ (SG Research, 1995)
We People Space With Phantoms CD (Atavistic, 1996)
Here Is The “Is-Not” CD (Atavistic, 1997)
“By Process E-Limination” on 100 Watts – Songs From WHPK “Pure Hype” (Atavistic, 1996)
“Koo-Koo Galaxy Invasion (Live)” on Chicken Bomb (Boring Theoretical Productions, 1996)
“Weird 09” on Out Of Their Mouths (Atavistic, 1996)
“Lost 9-6″ on Second Sixty-Second Compilation (Coat-Tail, 1996)